I started out by having some apple seeds, Golden Delicious (eco/bio), in the fridge in order to germinate them. Since September (about 2 months ago ) they have been growing in smaller pots with a compost from the local store. They have grown healthy up until now and I start to see brown spots on the leaves. It seems like 2 out of 3 pots have the same thing, NOT the third one. I've spotted tiny white bugs walking around on the leaves (aphids?) so I removed them by washing them off in the sink, leaf by leaf. All three plants have stopped growing.

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What could be the cause of these brown spots?

Also, it is November here in France so I didn't expect them to grow very much during winter. The plants are all indoors. Will they continue to grow? Or is this just gonna get worse so that the plants will eventually die?


The damage you see may be from the aphids, mechanical stress from washing or simply because the leaves are “done”.

Apples are deciduous - part of their yearly lifecycle is to shed their leaves in fall, rest during winter and leaf out again in spring. This is triggered by day lengths and temperature changes. As yours are indoors, they get conflicting information - the days get shorter, but the temperature doesn’t drop, which is why they haven’t turned yellow or red. (Rule of thumb: Cold nights and warmer days cause the color change, frost causes the leaves to drop.)

I can’t give you a definitive diagnosis on the spots, but I nevertheless recommend you transition your trees outside. A pot on a windowsill won’t be a sustainable living space for a tree like yours.

Completely unrelated:
I guess you are aware that these seeds will possibly not give you purebred Golden Delicious apples and that they weren’t bred for the rootstock, which could turn into a problem at some point in the future?

  • Delete "possibly". They are almost guaranteed not to produce Golden Delicious. But the good news is one of them might be something better. (Golden Delicious was bred to produce nice looking fruit that would survive supermarket-style transportation and storage, not to taste like an apple.) They really ought to be outside for the winter. They are plenty big enough to survive a bit of cold weather. – alephzero Nov 16 '19 at 0:32
  • No two apples from seed are the same. It takes thousand and thousand of cross breeding of apples to get one that is good to eat fresh. You do have a great chance of getting a good cider apple. If you are lucky you will get a decent baking apple, but the chances of them being good to eat are slim. Often the pollinator used in orchards are crab-apples, because they produce a good amount of pollen. – GardenGems Nov 16 '19 at 5:25
  • Thanks for all your comments. Yes I am aware of that they might not give any fruit at all actually. It was more of a fun project in general actually. To grow from seeds I mean. Is this the case for any fruit you buy from the store? Like apples, peaches, nectarines, lemons, etc? Will they not bare fruit when they grow up? Why is that? In my head a lemon tree gives lemon and a apple tree gives apples. Why can't they be planted from seed? That's what happens in the nature no? – Fatmajk Nov 16 '19 at 8:47
  • They will produce fruit, but not necessarily the kind you may expect. The commercially used ones were bred for specific wanted traits (fruit size, flavor, growth pattern), ignoring possible weaknesses. Growers deal with this by grafting („combining two different plants“), e.g. one for the roots that will determine the tree size and one for the actual fruit. That’s why you will find trees of one breed (named for the kind of apples it bears) that will grow to different tree sizes (dwarf, semi-dwarf etc.). This also eliminates all effects of cross-breeding, you always get the fruit from scion. – Stephie Nov 16 '19 at 8:54
  • In other words, your kids may look like you or resemble someone else in the family, depending on who’s genes or which combination thereof come through. The same applies here. Not desired when you want to plant an orchard and sell a specific kind of apples. – Stephie Nov 16 '19 at 9:06

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